Indian Motorcycle UK and Sideburn magazine have partnered with one of the most current and creative customisers, Toshiyuki “CHEETAH” Osawa, to create a custom-built Indian FTR that blends the moto cultures of America, Britain, and Japan.
Being revealed on the preview evening of the famous Bike Shed Moto Show in London, ‘Tokyo Connection’ celebrates the American flat track heritage of the FTR and the burgeoning UK and Japanese dirt track scenes.
Toshiyuki “CHEETAH” Osawa, based out of Tokyo, is one of the most respected custom builders anywhere in the world and one of the driving forces behind the grassroots resurgence of dirt track in Japan. With great demand for his work, Cheetah was initially concerned that he might not be able to participate in the build due to his schedule, but the globe-spanning nature of the project, its themes and a chance to visit the UK for Europe’s best independent annual motorcycle show saw Cheetah pull out all the stops to be a part of the project.
With his expertise in aluminium exterior fabrication, a signature element of many of his builds, Cheetah designed the bike around the premise of a one-piece petrol tank and seat cowl structure seen in many flat trackers, but with a larger tank than normally seen on the race machines.
With the project moniker of ‘Tokyo Connection,’ Cheetah wanted to incorporate graphics that would leave an impression of Tokyo and Japan by designing a logo and lettering resembling Japanese calligraphy, hand-applied by artist and fellow motorcycle fabricator, Tomomi “Shakin’ ” Shimizu.